‘Dancing With The Stars’ Leader Nicole Scherzinger: An Evolution In Photos

Even though she wasn’t the highest scoring contestant on this week’s episode of “Dancing With the Stars,” Nicole Scherzinger remains the favorite in this season’s competition. It’s easy to see why. As a trained dancer, she moves with the sort of grace and confidence that even gold medal Olympian Evan Lysacek can’t match. Scherzinger will face competition from Lysacek, exponentially improving ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and a feisty Niecy Nash, but the show is essentially hers to lose.

Ironically, Scherzinger’s career got started on a reality show competition back in 2001. As a winning contestant on the WB show “Popstars,” Scherzinger was a founding member of Eden’s Crush, a girl group who scored a gold record, a radio hit with “Get Over Yourself (Goodbye)” and spots on tours with Jessica Simpson and *NSYNC. When Eden’s Crush decided to disband, Scherzinger joined the Pussycat Dolls back when they were still a Los Angeles-based burlesque troop. Though Carmen Electra was considered the lead dancer then, Scherzinger found herself in the catbird seat when the group signed a deal to cut a pop record in 2003. Since then, she has been the primary voice in the Pussycat Dolls, who have dropped two huge albums (2005’s PCD and 2008’s Doll Domination) and have scored a number of big singles, including “Don’t Cha,” “Buttons,” “Stickwitu,” “When I Grow Up” and “I Hate This Part.” They’ve even collected two MTV Video Music Awards for their efforts.

Scherzinger is becoming the dominant force on “Dancing With the Stars,” but everybody starts somewhere. Click below for a walk through Scherzinger’s career in pictures, from her early “Popstars” days to her current TV stardom!

(Click here for more photos from the career of Nicole Scherzinger, from “Popstars” to the Pussycat Dolls to “Dancing With the Stars!”)